Saris Thelma Rack Bike Rack

3.7/5 (20 Reviews)
MSRP : $64.99


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Product Description

TheThelma securely cradlesThe bikeToThe rack usingThe wheels. NoneedTo worry about full suspension or ladies frames fitting, as long asit hasTwo wheels(26", 700c, 29") it will fit. Works with 29erToo! Hitch rack - Work with 1 1/4" and 2" Folds up when not in use Never contactsThe bike frame Unique wheelTrays accommodate road slicks right upTo DH knobbies and now 29" mtb wheels! Weight limit - 35lbs per bike Works with 700c road and crossTires, 29" & 26" mtbTires


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Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by argibson

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2014

Strengths:    The fatal flaws outweigh any strengths. If it didnt bouce the bikes around and into each other, and didnt bend under normal and in spec conditions, I would like it for its folding, no frame touch and fit to 1.25 and 2" hitches. But it is flimsy and cheap.

Weaknesses:    Flimsy

Bottom Line:   
I bought this rack for its ability to work with both 1.25 and 2" hitches, ability to carry up to three bikes varying in wheel size, folds up when not in use, and doesn't touch the frame. Unfortunately, it is mostly plastic and lightweight tubing, and the bikes are not stable...they bounce around a lot and get into each other. The "stinger" part (the part that goes into the hitch) on my rack also bent after a couple uses with much less weight than it is marketed as being able to handle and on normal driving conditions. Saris customer service wasnt helpful.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by dan romans

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2013

Strengths:    We have the 2 bike Thelma on our 2001 Jeep Cherokee and it holds the bikes very well without moving around. The rack is easy to use.

Weaknesses:    One huge weakness. The nut that holds the rack tightly in the 1-1/4" trailer hitch on my Jeep is retained by a flimsy plastic retainer. When I needed to remove the rtack, the plastic retainer broke, the nut just turned with no way to hold it. Now, how do I get the rack off? Chris at Saris said to push a screwdriver in from the front and jam it against the dut to keep it from turning. What? The front is welded solid. It will take a cutting torch to make an opening there. Right next to the gas tank too...

Bottom Line:   
Wondering why they don't use a welded nut plate like everybody else does.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Steve

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2013

Strengths:    Convient

Weaknesses:    Warranty

Bottom Line:   
My Saris Bones was such a simple answer to a big problem that when I bought my Smart for Two I turned to them for a bike transport solution. I selected the Saris Thelma II, installed a Curt hitch and was off to the intersection of Happiness & Fun. THEN IT ALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN!

While off loading my carbon fiber road bike I noted that the rear wheel tray had cracked and indeed one side had completely snapped off......NO PROBLEM, I THOUGHT, MY SARIA THELMA II HAS A LIFETIME WARRANTY. So off to REI to have them handle the replacement of the defective part. Now to be clear, REI DID THEIR PART BUT SARIS MADE IT A MISERABLE EXPERIENCE THAT I WILL NOT PUT MYSELF IN LINE TO BE DUPLICATED IN THE FUTURE......THULE OR YAKIMA FOR ME IN THE FUTURE.

WHY? The REI manager inspected the damage, took a picture in the parking lot and escorted me back in to the store where he immediately notified Saris Customer Service of the problem and requested the part be warrantied and forwarded to his store for installation ASAP. Love that REI customer service support , BUT, upon completing his request, we hear the SARIS REP SAY, AND I QUOTE "WE DO NOT WARRANTY OUR CARRIERS AGAINIST ROUGH DRIVING!" LET ME REMIND YOU THAT SARIS PROMOTES A LIFETIME WARRANTY (THAT MEANS NOTHING) AND, AND THIS IS KEY, I DRIVE A SMART CAR .........HOW DAMNED ROUGH DO YOU GET WITH A 3, COUNT EM' 3 CYLINDER CAR THAT'S LESS THAN 8 FEET LONG. ADD TO THIS THE FACE THAT THE CARRIER WAS ONLY SUPPORTING A CARBON FIBER ROAD BIKE!

SO THE LESSON LEARNED IS REI GOOD, SARIS BAD, DO NOT BUY SARIS PRODUCTS OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF BEING SCREWED!

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by jm

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2013

Strengths:    If you have a 26 inch wheel mountain bike- shallow box style rims- the wheel cradle and supplied ratchet style straps (albeit too short for any tubeless or higher profile rim), this rack could work. You would think a company like Saris, employing engineers would realize that a 3-5mm longer strap would vesting improve their design. Selling mine and looking at other brands. I have 29er and road bikes with 50mm wheels and the Thelma just falls short in design.

Weaknesses:    Doesn't carry most bike designs

Bottom Line:   
Wanted to like it. Just didn't work.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stygz1 a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2012

Strengths:    Easy to use. Holds bike securely. Rides will behind vehicle

Weaknesses:    Could be alittle wider framed to for longer wheel based bikes. But my bike fits fine.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this rack because of the light weight and value. It rides nicely behind my mid size crossover. My bike fits securely and does not move while traveling. I run a 2.1 kenda slant 6 and the wheel straps fit fine. I could see if you had wider tires you would want to call Saris to get a second set of straps and link them together (probably at no charge). I researched alot of racks and this one seems to have lots of value. If you are looking at the Thelma 3 I believe that rack holds the most bikes of most all hitch racks ( non frame clamping type ) using the 1.25" hitch. Most other racks that can expand from 2 to 4 bikes require a 2" hitch to use the expansion rack. At this time I have lots of confidence in the Thelma to carry my Trek Fuel EX8 without issue. Great warranty also.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   not uphill

Similar Products Used:   swagman

Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel EX8

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by subspd a Weekend Warrior from Dawsonville, GA, USA

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2011

Strengths:    Light weight, strong, fits 29" wheels! Fits 1 1/14 & 2" hitches with INCLUDED adapter.

Weaknesses:    none...

Bottom Line:   
To me its been the best rack ever it works great on my little civic and on my lifted Tacoma. I can easily swap between and since it only weighs about 24lb it doesn't cause the civic to drag its tail around. Also it fits both 29ers easily never had a problem even when running 2.3 tires.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Chicopee

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   bikeracks.com

Similar Products Used:   first hitch rack

Bike Setup:   2 29ers

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Zoke2 a Cross Country Rider from New Orleans

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2011

Strengths:    Light weight and easy to load the bikes on or off. Great fit for smaller cars and Excellent customer service from Saris

Weaknesses:    The straps may be a little short for larger tires but in 2 years I have only had one problem with this rack. One of the stops cracked after 2 years but it was probably more due to my jamming a 650b wheel into the rack set for a 26" wheel. I have found that over time the the piece the holds the front wheel will bend slightly, it doesnt affect the security of the bike but it just seems a little flimsy

Bottom Line:   
I have gotten a lot of use out of this rack over the years and when I needed extra straps for larger tires Saris sent them to me for free and when I cracked one the the lock stops Saris again sent me all the parts to replace it for free. Excellent rack and an Excellent company. If this rack was under $200 I would say its the best deal out there ... at $250 its a little over priced for what it is.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oak Mtn

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Saris Bones

Bike Setup:   07 Voodoo Canzo 26 XT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Robert Rose a Racer from Oakville

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2011

Strengths:    Great rack. Light weight bike, does not touch car, nothing to scratch carbon frames.

Weaknesses:    Straps short for Zipp 404's on the road bike

Bottom Line:   
I have the rack mounted on a hitch on a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet. The Cycle-on was a little heavy but at 26 pounds the Thelma is perfect. Easy to install rack and easy to put bikes on it. The bike does not contact the car and with this rack I can travel to races with the top down. One of a very small group of hitch mount racks that will carry a full suspension mountain bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Canada

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Racer Sportif

Similar Products Used:   Saris Cycle-on pro, numerous roof racks

Bike Setup:   Scott Spark Ltd mountain bike
Cervelo Soloist Carbon road bike with Campy Record and Zipp 404's.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tahoebum a Cross Country Rider from Kings Beach, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2011

Strengths:    No contact with frame, easy to use. Can load 2 bikes in less than 1 minute. Will easily accommodate 26", 29er, or road bike with no adjustments. Compact and lightweight, folds up easily.

Weaknesses:    70 lb weight limit, so if you have 2 downhill bikes, look elsewhere.

Bottom Line:   
Best rack I've owned. Super easy to use just a 2 second adjustment needed for my buddies with 29ers. Super secure with no frame contact.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Flume/ Tahoe Rim

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $215.00

Similar Products Used:   Thule.

Bike Setup:   Kestrel Talon SL, Fuji Outland Pro, Fuji SLM 2.0 Carbon Hardtail.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stormpeakco a Cross Country Rider from steamboat springs

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2010

Strengths:    NO need to remove front wheels and find a place to store 'em on a trip nor worry about repeatedly dinging the disc rotors (no issues about road bike front brake rub), don't need to worry about driving into garages and inadvertently removing the 5+K bike from the roof (like a friend x 2), light weight, durable (driven over 15K miles without issues to endurance rides in CO, CA and OR), hitch mounted-still can use hatch with bikes loaded, can see all with rear view mirror that all is OK on long sojourns, quiet, swings easily out of the way, less expensive, holds both mtbs and road bikes without issue or additional adjustment, no fear incurring damage to frames or cables, lockable to the hitch and bikes with Yakima cable lock keyed with same key by ORS Racks, takes 20-30 secs to load or unload each bike (if not cable locked), incredible customer support/personnel at Saris

Weaknesses:    the ratchet wheel straps are too short for friend's deeper dish CF road wheels and wheel holders are too narrow for buddies wide knobby mtb tires over 2.35"s (rarely if ever need such rubber here in SS and my Hutchinsons pythons 2.0" and wife's 2.1" Maxxis are no problem)

Bottom Line:   
What a sweet all season long set up for bikes (only wish I had a 3 bike thelma rather than a 2). With a hitch mounted Thelma rack I needn't worry about entering garages, removing the wheels/lifting someones heavy p.o.s. onto the roof, damage to frames/cables, bugs, wind noise (minimal loss of mpg with our hybrid escape). Most def, have recommended to many friends/strangers who have asked about it. Personnel/customer support from the folks in WI couldn't be better (for the folks living on the west coast, equivalent to the guys at Les Schwab Tires).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dumont Lake-Divide-Buff Pass

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $180.00

Purchased At:   ORS Racks

Similar Products Used:   tailgate/bike frame mounted p.o.s'. by Yakima and many friends bike racks/roof rack mounted with skewers.

Bike Setup:   ti(that will never end up in the landfill)-Moots YBB, two Merlin road frames

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by buggyman a Weekend Warrior from florida

Date Reviewed: November 30, 2009

Strengths:    light, easy to use secure

Weaknesses:    large frames don't fit perfectly

Bottom Line:   
I had a 4 bike yakima hitch mount and hated it. With full suspension bikes it was a pain. took it back and got the Thelma. At first I was upset that my large frame bike would not fit, but just turned around the rear wheel mount and it works fine. Also called Saris and they are sending some extra straps because I said they weren't long enough(that was before turning around the rear wheel mount). They said just click the two together and it will be fine. It has some wobble in it but so far the bikes have been very secure. This is the first hitch mount I have used and feel comfortable with. I also love the light weight. I take it off put in the bed of my truck and lock the hardcover. Could not be happier with it. I am giving 5 chilis for value I have the Thelma 3 bike. 4 chilis because of the fit of a large frame. but it still works.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   saris bones, saris roof rack and yakima hitch mount

Bike Setup:   stumpjumper fsr

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by alanchan a Cross Country Rider from Toronto, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2009

Strengths:    Easy to install and remove, wheel tray folds down for compact storage, pretty stable rack, easy to load and unload bikes, light weight (down side is can't hold up weight)

Weaknesses:    No access to tailgate with bikes on (but which one does except Thule Revolver)
Ratchet strap for the wheels are poorly design and cheap
Wheel size specify bike carrier (I manage to fit a 24" kids bike on to a 26" carrier tho) - no 29er
Material will not last long for everyday usage
No security system
Will not work with bikes with front fender
Weight limit means no sub $200 bikes and no DH bikes


Bottom Line:   
I use this system on a friends vehicle and recommended it to him due to the price ($240 CAD) and carries three bike. Note this review is for the 'Thelma 3'. Most hitch bike carrier with no contact to frame only holds two or with the add on to four bikes but that cost like 4x the money!

This will be a good rack if you ride a couple times a month (which is what my friend do). I myself ride 4-5 times a week in peak season and this rack will not last. The strap system also sucks which will get quite annoying if you use very often.

The wheel size specify tray can be rig. I rang up Saris USA and a couple of the local dealers and they said it will only fit specify wheel size (26" for mine) but I was able to fit a 24" on with something holding up the front wheel. It will NOT fit a 20". You will need to buy the kids version which Saris do offer (2 adults, 1 child bike).

Overall, a good rack for the price of occasional users only.

Then it comes another issue, weight limit. If you ride occasionally or use it a couple times a year for family picnic, going to camp/park, you probably won't have a superlite racing rig. That means you have to watch the weight of your bike. If you use it for your DH bike, you also have to be careful of the weight limit.

In conclusion, Saris has build a rack for good value and pretty practical but I don't see the target customer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $215.00

Purchased At:   Sporting Life

Similar Products Used:   Many Thule roof mount and truck mount racks
Yakima Roof mount racks.


Bike Setup:   too many...Ventana, Niner, Santa Cruz .... etc

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by cjv a Weekend Warrior from wausau wisconsin

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2009

Strengths:    looks , simple to use ,light weight

Weaknesses:    will not fit large frame bikes with 2.35 tires or greater. Had to return the rack.

Bottom Line:   
There needs to be a disclaimer on the box. This rack is not for large frame (26 inch) mountain bikes. We clled the company and they tried to get use to strap the tire on the side of the bracket, this would only leave the strap holding the wheel. Not something I, nor the guy driving behind me , would like to see. Look elsewhere.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   nine mile

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $209.00

Purchased At:   buelers

Similar Products Used:   swagman

swagman


Bike Setup:   specialized epic

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jitenshakun a Weekend Warrior from Calgary, AB

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2009

Strengths:    -Zero bike frame contact
-Light weight
-Tight hitch mounting
-No wheel removal required
-Perfect for road bikes, great for XC bikes


Weaknesses:    -Folds up mighty tight to the rear bumper
-Trouble with tires greater than 2.3
-often seats have to be lowered to accommodate handlebar of other bike
-35lb single bike weight limit


Bottom Line:   
For anything other than a heavier AM, FR or DH bike this rack works extremely well. Its easy to get on and off the car, holds the bike tight and will not damage your bike's frame. It can work with 2.3 and greater tires, so long as you deflate the tyre, load the bike and re inflate the tyre in the rack. I have driven my car in a track situation with a 30lb bike on the rack without issue. Yes, this is not usual for a rack, but it is a heck of a test.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   -this is was my first hitch rack but I have used multiple roof racks

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz Superlight and Trek Madone

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by silvermtb69 a Cross Country Rider from Austin, Tx, USA

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2009

Strengths:    looks good. good design.

Weaknesses:    straps too short for 29er wheels, Hitch piece too tall for swing open rear hatches

Bottom Line:   
Nice looking rack that is very modern and doesn't touch the bikes frame. The front wheel holder in the locked position will not hold a 29er wheel so I leave it unlocked in order to strap the front wheel in (1 strike). Website shows the rack on the back of a Lexus GX470 which is what I have so it should work on that vehicle, right?? I even called before purchasing to make sure.... Wrong.... You can't open the rear door since it swings out instead of up like most SUVs. I had to design & have a receiver adapter made to drop the entire rack down 3" so that I can open the rear door with the rack installed. (strike 2) This bike rack costs more than it should considering the materials used to make it. I like the rack but it definitely could use improvements/options for 29er people. Otherwise, rack works good for roadbikes & 26" mtn bikes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   offroad

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $280.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   Sportsworks

Bike Setup:   Intense Spider 29er, Spot Longboard 29er SS

Reviews 1 - 15 (20 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Saris Thelma 3-Bike: Good rack?

How good of a rack is the Saris Thelma 3-Bike? I have a 1.25" Receiver, Class 1 hitch in my sedan. The Saris Thelma has a 31lb/bike rating (no problem by me... i ride XC/Road bikes and won't be carrying more than 1x DH bike at a time. I mostly worry about carrying 3 bikes and cruising at 60mph on ... Read More »

Saris Thelma rack and a 29er?

I bought the rack and am now finding that i have to let the air out of the tire just to get my commuter bike on. Road bikes fit fine and the 26ers fit fine. Is there a better way? or should I just forget about a 29er for now.Read More »

Thelma's Rack?

Anyone using a Saris Thelma with their 29er's? Saris says "no go" but I thought I saw the combination a few weeks ago at a race but have not seen it again. Anyone? Sorry it was not "that kind" of rack...:eekster: GRead More »

Saris Thelma Hitch Rack?

Does anyone have any experience using this product to carry mt. bikes?Read More »

Saris Thelma Rack?

Anybody use this rack with their DH/FR bikes? Goods? Bads? Pictures? ThanksRead More »

Read More »



 

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